What is our national sport emblem?
The obovoid, stalkless leaves and flower tips elongated into cone in the centre of the flowerhead are diagnostic of Protea magnifica, the Queen Sugarbush.
You may imagine my surprise when on TV they called it Protea cynaroides. But my amazement turned to astonishment when I was shown an interview with the designer published in the Weekend Post 6.11.93. Listen to this (I quote:)! "The country's national flower, Protea cynaroides (also called King, Queen or Giant Protea), finally was chosen as a symbol of strength and unity". And there, in his hand, was the design opposite!
The diagnostic feature for Protea cynaroides is the long stalk to the leaf. This is definitely not "The King"!
I hope all this does not mean that instead of our rugby boys being called "King Proteas" (and being strong and unified), they will in future become known as the "Queens." It's enough to make one feel weak and disorientated.
Tony Rebelo, 1995